The tier 9 Japanese medium tank Type 61 is a cross between the STA-1 that proceeds it and the STB-1 that follows it. Starting out the Type 61 is a tier 9 STA-1 until you unlock the top 120mm gun for it and until that time it is not worth tier 9 matchmaking weight attached to it. However, once you have the 120mm on the Type 61 it turns into a deadly weapon platform that might not have much protection but it certainly can dish out a ton of damage like the STB-1 can at tier 10. Like other Japanese medium tanks the Type 61 plays better as a second line tank until later on in matches where you can use your higher HP(since you are less likely to be getting shot at) to make up for the lack of armor.
Starting off this guide is a video below that provides a quick overview of the Type 61 and also two matches with commentary of tactics to use while playing the Type 61 in World of Tanks.
The main asset the Type 61 has is it’s top gun which allows it to easily outclass many tanks it faces as far as damage per minute. The 390 damage per shot is also not to shabby considering the reload time. Without this top gun however the Type 61 is merely a STA-1 with a different name, a bit more HP, and a higher tier. This makes the initial grind very painful unless you skip past to the top gun. The accuracy and aim time are not the best but are still comfortable enough to not be a huge negative. The main issue is that since the Type 61 is so dependent on outputting damage to be useful that any missed shot is more harmful than if you were playing a tank with any sort of armor on it.
Armor wise the Type 61 has none what so ever. Even the turret front/mantlet area will be penetrated by most tier 8 tanks and even some tier 7’s you face. Going into battles while playing the Type 61 and expecting to take damage with every incoming shot will help you be more cautious and learn to take better routes. With the hull armor being very thin all around you will want to avoid taking any direct fire from artillery for HE/HESH tanks since they will do massive damage. One major downside of the Type 61 is that shots that go through your upper glacis will often do engine and ammo rack damage. On top of the lack of armor the Type 61 is also very tall which makes it a larger target to hide behind small cover.
The Type 61 retains the above average mobility that most other Japanese medium tanks have and it helps cover up some of the protection issues it has. Climbing hills leaves some speed to be desired but unless you are climbing a very steep or long hill the drop off is not that much of a negative(unless if a FV215b (183) is chasing you). Overall the Type 61’s mobility is it’s second best attribute behind it’s firepower since without it you can not escape bad situations or move around to where you are needed in time.
Gun depression. Gun depression. Gun depression. While the Type 61’s gun depression pales in comparison to the STB-1 due to it’s larger height it still has just enough to hide enough of the tank when cresting hills so that if enemies are over 100m away you stand a good chance at not taking any damage. The true value of -10 degrees of gun depression for the Type 61 seems much lower than it actually is due to the height and large profile of the vehicle. While the gun depression doesn’t allow you to utilize many of the steepest hills like the STB-1 it’s a nice bonus you can take advantage of in most areas. The stock turret has 390m of view range while the upgraded turret has 400m which is great for spotting enemies and getting a shot off before they can react.
Firing While Stationary: 0%
Firing While Moving: 0%
Aiming Circle Spread
After Shooting: 3.836
Turret Traversing: 0.134
While Moving: 0.134
Hard Ground: 0.959
Medium Ground: 1.055
Soft Ground: 2.11
Any Type 61 driver should focus on avoiding close-range engagements at the start of any match since you can easily find yourself either destroyed or crippled HP wise. Finding key locations that allow you to set up behind your advancing team while allowing you to fire at enemies incoming is crucial. After the first few minutes past or when your team pulls ahead in the match is the time when you should switch to being aggressive and use your full health pool as your armor as you out DPM enemies. Keep in mind that while it might make sense at the time to push out of cover to finish a low HP enemy off, you also need to be aware that since you have no armor you can easily loose more HP than killing that enemy was worth. Always be aware and if you limit the amount of damage you receive int he first few minutes you will find that your lack of armor becomes less of a negative.
This World of Tanks Type 61 review / tank guide will be updated with additional videos and information when it becomes available.